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 Integrative Medicine: Measles  

Because measles is a viral illness, antibiotic therapy is ineffective and therefore not appropriate. If your doctor confirms that your child has developed a secondary, bacterial infection, such as an ear infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to fight the secondary infection.

Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids. Also, because measles often causes a heightened sensitivity to light, your child will probably be more comfortable in a dimly lit room.

Dietary Guidelines
Lots of fluids are essential to prevent dehydration. Keep a feverish child well hydrated. Offer fruit-juice popsicles, spring water, herb teas, soups, and diluted juices. During the recovery period, immune-boosting astragalus and vegetable soup is a good choice as well (see THERAPEUTIC RECIPES).

Eliminate fats as much as possible. Fats are difficult to digest under normal circumstances, and are even harder to digest when the digestive system is weakened by infection. Undigested fats contribute to a toxic internal environment.

Nutritional Supplements
For age-appropriate dosages of nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Herbs and Nutritional Supplements.

Vitamin A aids in healing mucous membranes. Give your child one dose of vitamin A, once a day, for ten days.

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help to stimulate the immune system. Three to four times a day, give your child one dose of vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form, and an equal amount of bioflavonoids, for one week. The following week, give the same dosage, but two to three times a day. During the third week, give the same dosage, two to three times, every other day. Then continue to give one-half dose, once a week, for three weeks.

Zinc stimulates the immune system and promotes healing. Give your child one dose, twice a day, for ten days.
Note: Excessive amounts of zinc can result in nausea and vomiting. Be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage.

Herbal Treatment
For age-appropriate dosages of nutritional supplements, see Dosage Guidelines for Herbs and Nutritional Supplements.

If your child is feeling very restless, give her one dose of chamomile tea, twice a day.

Echinacea and goldenseal combination formula helps clear an infection, supports the immune system, and soothes the skin and mucous membranes. Echinacea is a powerful antiviral. Give your child one dose, every two hours, until the fever breaks. Then give her one dose, three times a day, for one week.
Note: You should not give your child echinacea on a daily basis for more than ten days at a time, or it will lose its effectiveness.

An herbal fever-reducing tea will help to bring down your child's temperature, decrease chills, and increase perspiration. Combine equal parts of some or all of the following: lemon balm leaf, chamomile flower, peppermint leaf, licorice root, and elder flower. For an older child, a little honey can be added to improve flavor. Give your child one dose, four times a day, for two or three days. A nursing mother may take one adult dose, four times a day, instead of giving the tea directly to her baby; its healing properties will be passed to her baby in her breast milk. The tea should be taken as hot as possible.
Caution: Do not put honey in the tea if you are giving it to a child less than one year old. Honey has been associated with infant botulism, which can be life threatening. Also, if you are using peppermint in the tea and also giving your child a homeopathic preparation, allow one hour to elapse between the two treatments. Otherwise, the strong smell of the mint will decrease the effectiveness of the homeopathic remedy.

(Excerpted from Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child ISBN: 1583331395)
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
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